Another reading is here on my Patreon! I have a question down below for you as a teaser.
1 The word ‘it’ in the paragraph down below refers to:
• agricultural work
• work for the merchants
• raw materials
Before the industrial revolution, the making of textiles (or cloth) was accomplished through what is known as “cottage industry.” Merchants acted as economic coordinators in this system. They responded to demand for textiles by “putting out” the work to skilled workers. The merchants, who had access through their trade channels to different resources, would buy the raw materials for the articles they wanted. They would then distribute these materials – such as cotton and wool – to rural workers, who would spin wool or thread, weave, or bleach or dye the cloth. They worked at home, by hand, using tools such as spinning wheels and hand looms. The workers were typically engaged in agricultural work during planting and harvest season. Thus their work for the merchants was supplemental; that is, it was not their primary source of income.